Monday, January 3, 2011

Home at Last, Home at Last…..

Thank God Almighty, we are home at last!! I think that pretty much sums up how we feel to be home from our travels abroad. It was an overwhelming experience and we enjoyed our time in China, but too long away makes your heart yearn for the smallest of comforts that we take for granted.  With that being said, let me recap everyone on what has transpired since I left you a little before midnight on New Years Eve while in Beijing.

The New Year stared early for us at the Langham Hotel at around 4:30 am.  I woke to the alarm to find that I had been relegated to the small love seat bed that I had made for Savannah!  When I finished the Blog I looked over to the bed to find that my three roommates had positioned themselves equally across the king size bed and looked so comfortable that I just curled up on the small couch and worked to get a good 4 hours of sleep in before we started the journey home.  After Ann Marie and I both showered and finished the packing we raised the kids, bundled them up and prepared to leave.  A short shuttle ride to the airport and we started making our way through security.  After relatively pain free process we found ourselves at the gate with a little time to spare before we began to bored so I set out to grab a coffee and spend the last 19 Yuan we had saved!  After a magnet purchase we were Yuan free and ready to board.  Wouldn’t you know it, I was selected for an additional screening on the jetway that included checking all the carryon bags (I was packed like a Nepalese Sherpa!) and a TSA approved pat down (I will reserve my comments on this one for later!).  Ann Marie, Savannah and Aiden all got loaded in and I followed a few minutes after and we settled in for the long 14-hour ride back to Chicago.  Our kids did an awesome job on the flight and had relatively no issues, but there was one kid on coach that cried for the entire 14 hours (thank goodness for the complimentary Bose headphones AA provided)!  After some superb airline meals and great service we enjoyed a safe touchdown at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport at 6:30 am CST when Aiden immediately became a United States Citizen! After making our way to Unites States Customs we presented the official paperwork (for those of you who have adopted internationally, it’s the manila envelope!) where Aiden was cleared to enter the country and we were on our way home!  Another pass through security and we headed to the AA Club to wait for the flight back to RDU.  A couple of hours later we boarded a small Canadian regional jet for home and Aiden had his first meltdown on the trip home.  He was pretty much inconsolable for the entire 2-hour flight home due to the lack of sleep and his inability to get comfortable in the small seat.  Well, we made it the entire way without anyone on the plane getting out of control due to the crying child and we deplaned and headed for baggage claim after touchdown in some bad crosswinds.  We were met at the exit by Ann Marie’s parents and Grandmother as well as our friends the Shades with their kids.  It was a welcome sight to see their smiling faces and know we were truly home!  After sharing some stories we headed for the baggage claim and then for Holly Springs!

At home we were treated to another more surprises as my parents and nieces made the ride up from Sanford to meet Aiden and found lots of goodies and groceries to get us started on the way to normalcy on the home front!  After visiting for about an hour everyone departed and we settled to try and get the body clocks back to where they should be.  Everyone settled down for a nap around 4:00 pm and after a couple of hours we were back up and for unpacking and getting things put away.  After we all had a really good dinner we decided that it was time to wash all the clothes from the trip.  This is when we got our next surprise….the washer broke on the second load!  Seems that the bearings on the tub went out causing a great noise and vibration.  Well, needless to say there is a purchase in our near future as the replacement parts cost nearly half the price of a new washer!  Sears….here I come!  That aside we finished off the rest of Saturday by opening the presents that Santa had left for the kids and letting them get some good playtime in before bath and bed which came at a little after 11:00 pm as in our heads it was still 10:00 am….Beijing time!  I think the kids went down shortly after midnight, Ann Marie sometime thereafter, and I lay alone downstairs till around 2:00 am that was the last time I remember looking at the clock.  Thanks Discovery Channel!

Sunday was pretty much a blur due to the sleep cycle being so far off, but I know that I was awoken by Savannah getting in bed with me at 4:30 am after I had just fallen asleep and then the cartoons came on at 6:00!  Needless to say my sleep time was over and we all kicked off another day of adjustment.  After lunch we decided that a longer nap might do us all some good, so we settled around 1:30.  When I awoke it was 5:00 pm and we were supposed to be at Ann Maries parents for dinner and to do laundry at the same time!  Ooops! After some phone calls it was decided to have Ann Marie’s parents visit so that the kids could open their presents and a good time was had by all!  After playing for a bit more we concluded the night with baths and bedtime around 10:00 pm.  I think I finally got to sleep at 1:30 am, so I am the last of the group to work on resetting that internal clock!  I missed television, so I am trying to catch up!

This morning came early again, but it looks like we are all getting closer to the cycle we need to be on. Today we are going to do a little shopping to stock up for the week and prepare for a full week of “Kennedy, family of 4!”.  Tonight we will go to bed at our normal bedtimes and say a little prayer for a long nights sleep.

Well, that pretty much concludes our journey to adopt Aiden and the little blue light in his window has been turned off for the first time since we put it there earlier this year when our paperwork was approved and he was destined to be our little boy. I think that future updates on our family will be on our family website that is at http://web.me.com/kennedysnc/The_Kennedys/Welcome.html and will be updated as much as having full time jobs and kids allow! So thank you for following along with us and we hope you enjoyed all of our posts and photos, and till then……

Michael (Why do appliances not last very long anymore?), Ann Marie (I love ice!), Savannah (What do you mean I have to take a nap?) and Aiden (Why is my sister playing with my toys?) Kennedy

Mom has some champagne to celebrate before takeoff for home! 
A last look at Beijing from the airplane window.  Next stop....USA!

Savannah finally gets into what Santa left her at the house!

Aiden looks surprised to find a Thomas blanket under the tree!

Aiden loves his new remote control bike! Thanks Schade Family!

Nana and Pop-Pop supplied a new set of wheels for Aiden!

No pressure there Dr. Kennedy!

Think she looks happy to have a little brother?

Finally someone who can share in her love of singing!

I think they have bonded pretty well....Aiden and his Jie Jie!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

One more day, one more time…..

is about all we can say at this time! Oh yea, and Happy New Years from
Beijing, China!  Its 30 minutes from midnight here as I post this one to our
friends in the United States for upload (thanks for everything Walker
family!).  We were sitting in the hotel restaurant having dinner when we saw
the Sydney Harbor Bridge fireworks take place signaling a start to the New
Years celebrations around the World (actually, they are 3 hours later as it
starts in Kiribati, but I have never seen their fireworks on TV!).  There
are lots of patrons gathering in the hotel to celebrate, locals, ex-pats and
the like, but we are all going to be fast asleep when the New Year floods
into our hotel room as we have a 5:30 am shuttle departure from here at the
Langham Hotel which is right next door to the Beijing Airport.

The day started early for us as we awoke at 5:00 am this morning and started
our journey to Beijing. We met the driver and guide in the lobby at 6:20 and
we were graciously served a nice breakfast to go by the staff of the hotel!
We arrived at the airport about 45 minutes later, got checked in very
swiftly and made it to our gate with time to spare!  The flight was pretty
uneventful for Savannah and I, but Aiden and Mom had a serious accident in
the bathroom of the plane that had the flight attendants summoning me to the
restroom with supplies as they flooded the rear of the plane with orange
scented air freshener!  Ann Marie likened the bathroom to a gas chamber as
they kept spraying it in and around the door until she almost could not
breath! It was a trying time, but a laugh was shared once the diaper and
clothes were changed and sealed in a odor proof bag!  This will be one to
share with Aiden once he gets a little older!

Upon landing we were shuttled to the Langham Hotel right off the airport
property.  This is a very nice hotel and the bed according to Ann Marie is
heavenly!  She fell asleep about 5 minutes after crawling in!  We ate lunch
and dinner right here at the hotel as we did not feel like going offsite and
for once we admitted that we were just too tired to do anything!  I think we
all need an off day to just vegetate and let our bodies catch up!

Tomorrow morning comes early, so I will call it a night and let you all know
we are all thinking about you back home and cannot wait to be there
ourselves!  Things on our to do list are fresh vegetables, ice and sleep in
our bed! Call us crazy, but we love home!  I will now sign off from China
one last time and leave you all with well wishes for a Safe and Happy New
Year in the United States and to ask that you each say a little prayer for
the children of the World who tonight will go to sleep not knowing the love
of a family and total unconditional love.  Till then……

Michael (God Bless America!), Ann Marie (I think this is the best mattress I
have ever…….zzzzzzzz!), Savannah (Please make sure the iPod is charged
Daddy!) and Aiden (Do they feed us on this plane too?) Kennedy

Happy New Year from Savannah and Aiden Kennedy

Nap time after that flight was well deserved!

The lobby at the Langham....totally swank!

The Material Girl....Panda Style!

Stir Crazy?  You tell me!

Now this is a bed!

Friday, December 31, 2010

If there is one word…..

that new adoptive parents of a child from China need to learn, it is
shuìjiào, the word whose translation into Mandarin is “Sleep, Sleep”, the
first a verb and the second a noun. This one has come in handy with Aiden
who at almost 3 and knows a lot of Mandarin and can really follow these
directions….when he wants too!

This will be a short post as we leave for the Guangzhou Airport and our
flight to Beijing at 6:20 in the morning and it’s getting close to midnight
now!  Thursday was a free day and Ann Marie and I had Lilly, our guides
friend take us out for pearl shopping in the market.  Ann Marie had a blast
and the kids and I played on the elevators and escalators for free, while
Mommy shopped which sadly was not! After shopping we grabbed the kids a bite
at McDonalds and hurried back to the hotel to meet our guide Judy to pick up
Aiden’s Chinese Passport and Visa as well as the infamous “Brown Envelope”
that must not be opened until you get to the United States Immigration
Office upon landing. We signed all the papers, made all the transfer
arrangements, settled all the financials, exchanged hugs with Judy and then
we were off for a nap.

We overslept due to a lack of sleep the night before (long story for another
time) and missed our friends Tim, Shelly and Caleb who we wanted to meet in
the playroom here at the hotel before they left.  Sorry guys!  We promise to
keep in touch through emails!  What a great family!  We started packing for
home a short time later and then took a break for some last minute shopping
at Sherry’s and Jordan’s, grabbed the laundry and dropped off the stroller
at Jennifer’s, picked up some take out at Lucy’s (mmmm, beer!) and then
headed back to the room to finish off the night.  After dinner we did take
time to get some photos of the kids on the also infamous “Red Couch” here at
the White Swan Hotel. I will post a couple for your enjoyment!  We then came
back in, finished the majority of the packing, started the kids to bed, then
I headed downstairs to get some travel Yuan and snap some last photos of the
hotel at night.  That brings us to the Mandarin word shuìjiào, which
phonetically sounds like “Shree-Jowu”.

Aiden has the tendency to play while getting to sleep and this word is a big
reinforcement to what he should be doing instead.  We have found that this
word, combined with me standing at the end of the bed as the enforcer will
bring about a little more compliance at naptime as well as bedtime.  I think
he knows I mean business when he pops back up and sees I am still there.  I
kind of giggle under my breath when he does it, but it works!

Tomorrow we leave for Beijing and the beginning of the journey home!!  We
have enjoyed our stay in China, but even so two weeks is a long time to be
away from home and our puppies, family and friends so we are very happy to
be on our way! I will let you all know how Aiden’s trip to Beijing goes
tomorrow night! So, till then……

Michael (Did you say wake up at 5:00 am?), Ann Marie (Please let me have one
nights sleep greater than 4 hours!), Savannah (What do you mean he copies
everything I do?) and Aiden (Did anyone pack some of those White Swan
Chocolate Chip Muffins?) Kennedy

 Oh my...we are in trouble!

Savannah made a purchase with money Nana gave her.
Yes, six floors of a mall with nothing but jewelry!

A little playtime between Big Sis and Little Brother!

Out for an evening stroll.

Our Princess!

Savannah and Aiden!

Our little Prince is quite the ham!

Just remember the word..... Shuìjiào!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

There are good days, bad days…..

and going half mad days!  I think we have experienced them all over the past
couple of weeks leading up to and while in China to complete Aidens
adoption!  I would compare the adoption process to climbing Mount Everest in
Nepal. In the beginning it’s just a dream, then you decide that you will
undertake the challenge of climbing a peak that many fear, let along
attempt. You prepare as best you can then set about the task at hand,
scaling the peak to satisfy that dream of standing at the top of the World.
Today we reached the peak of the mountain and now we have to descend back to
our own base camp in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Wednesday was the day that we go to the United States Consulate Office in
Guangzhou.  We know this well from when we adopted Savannah, but it’s still
emotional. After breakfast a few of us met as a group to visit the local
jade market to pick up some items to remember our trip to China and
Guangzhou! Our intent was to get something for Savannah and Aiden to tie
them to their birth country, something for Ann Marie and myself as
remembrances to the trips that we took to complete our family and a couple
of other items for friends.  The walk over through the markets was again so
eye opening and fun, but the real treat lied about 30 minutes walk from the
hotel. What the locals refer to as the jade market is really a 6 story
shopping mall style building that houses hundreds of wholesale jewelry
makers offering items that range from low cost beaded necklaces to items
well out of our budget, and what was just what I saw in by brief stroll
through the maze of isles and hallways.  After selecting our items we
settled with the proprietor and headed back out for the hotel.  A quick
in-room lunch from Lucy’s and we were shortly downstairs again for the bus
ride to the consulate!

The ride to the consulate was short and we were hurried inside to complete
our final steps for making Aiden a permanent part of our family in the eyes
of the United States Government.  After clearing into the office through
security (we packed nothing as we already new the drill!) we were taken to
the first holding area while Judy our guide arranged all the paperwork she
had been working on all morning.  After a short sit we were moved to a
second holding area where a consulate officer soon approached us.  She
advised us due to the small group we would just complete the oath in the
same area and process out very quickly!  Great news indeed!  A few minutes
later we raised our right hand, completed the oath, signed our paperwork and
we were headed out the door as a completed family! After a ride back to the
hotel all the families met in the playroom and shared stories as the kids
played and the adults contemplated how we could get back to the United
States any quicker than we had planned!  It was surreal and such a
comforting time, all four of us sitting with the other families as “The

Later we met our friends Tim and Shelly from Minnesota and their son Caleb
for dinner at a local restaurant suggested to us by another family in our
group.  It was quite the adventure and will no doubt be retold many times as
we had an entertaining time!  When we first arrived we were aware that very
few people in the restaurant spoke English and we were what looked to be the
only “tourist” in the place, but we felt comfortable as our friends had told
us there was a really good picture menu!  After seating we were first
surprised when the servers came out with prepared appetizers without us even
ordering them!  What looked like sautéed peanuts (we think), marinated
cucumbers and a vegetable looking dish with some type of noodle.  There were
no utensils other than two sets of color coded chop sticks which we would
later deduce were intended to be one for serving and one for eating.  This
was tricky for Tim and Shelly who were chopstick novices, but not for their
son Caleb! The tea was a welcome site that we could all enjoy, but then we
moved on to the menu!  Very detailed photos were a welcome site, but the
large menu selection was narrowed to a delicate few items that we felt we
could with an open mind trust! We settled for beef with peppers, pork
dumplings in soup, pan fried noodles with chicken and shrimp, beef and
noodles as well as some egg custards torts.  We made these choices over
several possible selections such as Horse Sashimi, Corn Worm Soup, and Fried
Diced Snake with Nuts.  Oh yea, that only touches the basics we could select
from as the menu was really packed with items I could only imagine would
push our taste buds and digestive tracks into overdrive.  We chose the safe
options and enjoyed a really good meal with only the occasional joke about
what “meat” really meant and if we would pay the price come morning time!
The highlight to the meal was the egg custard torts as they were
surprisingly tasty and brought a final smile to everyone’s face!  Bill paid,
we departed the restaurant into the Shamian Island night for a brief stroll
around the neighborhood before returning to the hotel to being the process
of shutting down for the night.  A special thanks goes out to Tim, Shelly
and Caleb for sharing an entertaining evening with us!

Tomorrow Ann Marie has secured a visit to the pearl market in the morning
and we will meet with Judy one more time to receive our final paperwork that
will use for the trip home!  It’s so close we can almost taste it!  An early
evening tomorrow may mean a shortened Blog entry, but rest assured there
will be an entry!  So, till then……

Michael (Did someone order me the Corn Worm Soup?), Ann Marie (Please tell
me that is Yuan and not American Dollars!), Savannah (Can I have the White
Swan Barbie since Aiden is a boy?) and Aiden (Do we get a breakfast buffet
like this at home?) Kennedy

Fish, Fish and more Fish!

Tim and Shelly survey the damage from dinner

Snakes in a bag?  Why not!

The selection tanks at the restaurant were wild!

They all look happy after dinner, but what about in the morning??

A true "shopaholic" caught in action!

Savannah and Caleb became fast friends despite the language

The Fountain on Shamian Island at night.....beautiful!

Mom leads us through the market towards the jade prize!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

wǒ lèile, wǒmen zǒu le ba jiā…..

on the first plane to Raleigh!  I hope everyone back home can translate that
one somehow, but seeing how long we have been over here you can probably
pretty much tell what it must stand for!  I apologize for not getting a post
out to you all last night, but due to technical difficulties (yea right, I
fell asleep!) we were delayed until to tonight!

Monday was the day we got the TB test read at the medical office on Shamian
Island. After breakfast we met as a group for the short walk over to the
office and a quick ready of the test location, which as negative for
everyone in our group!  After getting the good news so of our group ventured
out for some local sightseeing just off the island which others, Ann Marie
and Aiden included, headed back to the hotel so that the young ones in the
group would not miss their nap which we all know is super important to
keeping a child (and their associated family!) happy!  Savannah and I went
with others for a walk through the local herb and medicinal markets where
vendors offered wares such as the benign seeds, roots and vegetables used in
many Chinese soups to the exotic items such as scorpions, seahorses and
bats. It was truly amazing and something to behold! A little further in we
went through a section that dedicated to pets such as puppies, kittens,
turtles, and fish.  Anything you wanted from fish tanks to pet clothing was
available for purchase!  Pet Smart has nothing on this street!  To finish
off the walk we went into one of the oldest shopping districts in Guangzhou
where the city was actually started.  As it was close to lunch one of the
other families asked if there was some place to get pizza nearby. We were
totally in luck as I led them to the exact Pizza Hut that my friend and
fellow Deadhead Paul Marcus partook in when we were here in 2006!  It was
like déjà vu as we sat down to enjoy our meal and made for a great story to
share with Savannah!  After finishing our meal we headed back to White Swan
for some rest before our friends visited from their hotel in downtown
Guangzhou. Around 4:00 Mary Alice and her beautiful daughter Helen visited
us for some playtime and shopping on the island before enjoying dinner at
Lucy’s.  A great time was had by all sharing stories and laughs and before
you knew it we had passed 3 hours and it was well past the kids bedtime!  We
whisked Mary Alice and Helen back to their hotel and scurried to get the
kids to bed before we endured a meltdown of epic proportion as Ann Marie had
already enjoyed a little of Aiden’s stubborn side during the afternoon nap!
Besides having the request of playing with a shopping bag while going to
sleep we all went right to sleep with the sounds of the Beijing Angelic
Choir playing in the background.  I awoke around 1:30 am local time to hear
the sounds of Beatles I had totally dozed off and missed by time to Blog!
Oh well I thought, there is always tomorrow night and I shutdown the Mac and
pulled the covers back up over my head!

On Tuesday we had plans to visit to local zoo.  After rising and enjoying
breakfast, Savannah and I made our way downstairs to meet with some of the
others to leave for the Guangzhou Zoo and Safari. The zoo is outside the
city and is really a neat place to spend the day.  We did a fabulous safari
ride where we were able to see close up many animals such as deer, giraffe,
zebras, bears and lions from the comfortable confines of a trolley.  After
this we visited many other exhibits and shows that allowed us to see
elephants, white tigers, koalas and the main attraction, the Chinese pandas!
It was a spectacular visit and should not be missed if you are in the area!
Upon our return to the White Swan we whisked off to downtown for a visit
with Mary Alice and her daughter Helen.  They are staying at the Garden
Hotel so after the cab ride and a short visit in the hotel we were off to
enjoy a wonderful Italian meal at Buongiorno’s where we all enjoyed the fine
fare and a great bottle of Chianti! After that we hit the local Häagen-Dazs
for a celebratory scoop or two before returning home after a long evening.
A quick bath and a little bedtime coaxing brings us to the current time that
is just after midnight!

Tomorrow we are headed to the jade market in the morning (hide your credit
cards!) and then we are off to the United States Consulate to being the
process of brining Aiden home as an official citizen!  Wish us luck and once
again, stay tuned to see what happens next on our great adventure! Also, I
will post lots more photos on our family website when we get home, so check
there for more on our trip in early 2011!

Till then……

Michael (Did I just see a dog in sneakers?), Ann Marie (should I take the
couch medicine that has no English directions or dosing instructions?),
Savannah (I only need one more stuffed animal Daddy!) and Aiden (Every day
the little orange bowl in the hotel room has more chocolate! Awesome!)

Savannah loves shopping in Guangzhou!

Savannah poses in the park on Shamian Island

Lots of goodies in the market place!

Aiden enjoys his vanilla ice-cream at Häagen-Dazs!

The Christmas Tree at night in the White Swan

One of many beautiful Giant Panda's at the Zoo!

Dinner with Mary Alice and Helen at Lucy's!

Savannah feeds the giraffes at the Guangzhou Zoo!

Negative test results bring a smile!

Hey Paul, remember this place! Fruity drinks anyone?

The elephant show brought smiles to everyone!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow way…..

we missed the first snowfall of the year in Raleigh!  I hope everyone back
home was able to enjoy the visit by Old Man Winter and is home warm and cozy
by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate watching a bowl game on TV!  Here in
Guangzhou it is unseasonably cool, but nothing like home! Save some snow for
us on New Years Day and I hope my Pirates and Seminoles can add to my
year-end bliss with bowl wins!

Today was an off day here in Guangzhou so we decided to take it easy for
most of the day. We started off with another fabulous breakfast with a
waterside window seat so the kids could watch the boat traffic go up and
down the Pearl River.  After finishing we headed back to the room for a
brief cleanup before heading out to walk around Shamian Island. Before
leaving the hotel we experienced our first injury of the trip!  Yours truly
was playing hide and seek with Aiden in the hallway while the cleaning staff
finished in our room and my oft repaired left knee took a huge blow that
peeled back the skin of the kneecap. Lots of “bleed” as Savannah called it
and a cut that could probably stand some stitches, but the band-aides and
Neosporin we have on hand will have to do for now! Oh well, leave it to me
to get injured in a kid’s game!  After cleaning up my mess we took in the
park just up from the hotel where Aiden got a lesson on sliding from
Savannah and some of the other kids and had a total blast! Its nice seeing
him more in his element with other kids and fitting right in!  After
playtime we hit Lucy’s for lunch then returned to the hotel for a quick nap
before our afternoon tour.

Around 2:00 pm we met several of our group downstairs for our guide Judy to
take us to view the Western Han Dynasty Nanyue King Mausoleum Museum. This
is the oldest and largest Han tomb with the most funerary objects in the
Lingnan (South of the Nanling Mountain) Area. The owner of the tomb is the
second king, Zhao Mei of Nanyue State of the Western Han Dynasty (206
B.C.-24 A.D.). Hidden more than 60 feet underground, the tomb is made up of
750 huge stones with colorful murals. The over 1,000 pieces of cultural
relics, bronze ware and terra cotta ware in particular, feature the Yue
Culture of south China (Nanyue Culture). Highlighting the mausoleum is a
silk-jade garment made up of 2,291 pieces of jade. Though jade garments with
pieces connected by gold, silver, or copper are not uncommon, this garment
with jade pieces connected by silk is the only one of its kind in the world.
In addition, the style of buttons down the front is unique among unearthed
jade garments. This silk-sewn-jade garment shows the early development of
jade garments as well as development of the Nanyue culture. In addition,
three sets of bronze serial bells, thirty-six bronze vessels, thirty-six
bronze mirrors, and three gold seals give visitors a glimpse of the ancient
Nanyue Culture. The oldest and largest folding screen used in China is also
here, as are two of the world's oldest bronze patterns for textile stamping.
Foreign articles excavated in the mausoleum indicate that Guangzhou was an
ancient Marine Silk Road starting point.

Well, that’s enough history for today, so after the tour we decided to get
together as a group and go the Thai restaurant just up the block, Cow and
Dragon.  We partnered up with one other family who we have become friends in
our group and then another who we met in the playroom a couple of days ago
to share war stories of adoption and travel as well as some really good Thai
food and beverages!  Before we knew it we had passed 2 hours at dinner and
we called it an evening to get the kids back to the hotel.  Good times make
the days pass faster and we are truly grateful to have met people to share
our time here in Guangzhou with.  With that we want to pass along a “Shout
Out” to Matt and Mary from Pittsburg, PA who are here with Matt’s sister
Suzanne and her son Tony (otherwise known as “Sugar Daddy”) and their newest
family addition Mia who is beautiful and a bubbly little girl! Matt and his
son’s are avid motocross riders and we have totally hit it off!  Another
“Shout” goes to Tim and Shelly from Columbus, MN who are welcoming their
newest family addition Caleb who is a handsome little boy!

Tomorrow we head back to the medical office to check the TB test site, then
a little more touring in the local area and maybe a trip to one of the
shopping areas after that. We are also going to try and meet up with another
good friend who is here in Guangzhou adopting a young lady who is very
special indeed and recently celebrated a birthday!  Look for more on this
one tomorrow night! With that I will say so long partners and tune back in
tomorrow, same BLOG time, same BLOG channel for another days adventure from
here in Southern China!

Till then……

Michael (why can I not find band-aides around here that do not have Hello
Kitty on them?), Ann Marie (just then I thought I over packed I see snow…oh,
that’s a picture from home!), Savannah (when do we get home to open more
presents?) and Aiden (I know that is a snack drawer, so out of my way pal!)

The view overlooking the Zhao Mei tomb.
Jumping on Daddy in the hallway!
Relax Mommy, I can cut my own fruit for breakfast!
Christmas Tree in the White Swan Hotel
Can I eat breakfast away from the camera Dad?
I would say this is one happy little boy! 
Nighttime Shamian Island photo
Zhao Mei's silk-jade garment
After dinner photo!